Media Club Event

 

ANNOUNCING OUR NEWEST MEDIA CLUB EVENT ON AUGUST 14th

Contra Costa NOW is pleased to announce our latest event in our Media Club. Following our first successful event in June, we have scheduled our next event on Friday, August 14th, from 7-8:30 pm.

The movie we will be discussing is HIDDEN FIGURES (2016).

According to flicks.com:

The award-winning film is based on a true story. Hidden Figures recounts how three Black American women served as the brains behind several key 1960s NASA missions. Stars Taraji P. Henson (TV’s Empire), Janelle Monáe (Moonlight), and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (The Help).

Physicist, space scientist, and mathematician Katherine G. Johnson (Henson), along with Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monáe), were instrumental in executing one of the greatest operations in history: the launch of astronaut John Glenn (Glen Powell) into orbit. It was an achievement that restored the United States’ confidence, turned around the Space Race, and galvanized the world. The gifted trio crossed gender and race lines and inspired generations to dream big. Kirsten Dunst and Kevin Costner co-star.

The film is available to rent on Amazon Prime and Google Play for $3.99.  We will be hosting the meeting on Zoom (Link below).   Be sure to watch the movie prior to joining the discussion.

Zoom Info:

Topic: Contra Costa NOW Media Club
Time: Aug 14, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 825 4825 3133
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A Celebration of Women’s Suffrage

For Zoom link:    RSVP here

 

Editorial (From East Bay Times): This Contra Costa candidate shouldn’t hold public office

To maintain government integrity, reject Assessor Gus Kramer’s bid for county supervisor, reelect Federal Glover

It’s essential that voters along the northern Contra Costa waterfront from Pinole to Antioch pay close attention when they mark their ballots in the Nov. 3 race for county supervisor.

Federal Glover deserves reelection in the District 5 runoff. His opponent, county Assessor Gus Kramer, doesn’t deserve to hold any public office — not his current one nor the one he’s seeking. It’s that simple.

In March, Glover garnered 49.87% of the vote in the three-way race, falling just shy of the majority he needed to avoid a runoff. The rest of the ballots were nearly evenly split between two challengers with Kramer eking out the second spot for November.

First elected in 2000, Glover has been a solid, soft-spoken vote for balancing fiscal restraint with meeting the county’s social service and public safety needs. And he has been a strong advocate for maintaining the county’s growth boundaries.

But the choice between the two runoff candidates is not just about ensuring that Glover, a solid public official, holds his office. It’s also about making sure that, for the sake of integrity of county government, Kramer doesn’t win.

As Kramer seeks a seat on the Board of Supervisors, he faces a #MeToo trial for removal from his current county post. It’s been 15 months since the Contra Costa Grand Jury signed a formal accusation that Kramer engaged in willful or corrupt misconduct in office by creating a hostile work environment for employees under his supervision.

The accusation alleges that Kramer, in incidents dating back to 2014, told stories about his conquests with women, made unwanted advances on a subordinate, talked about giving a sex toy to his niece, made crude comments about his sexual desires, and disparaged people of Mexican descent.

The case should have been resolved by now. Instead, because of repeated delays enabled by Contra Costa judges, the trial is scheduled to start just before the election and probably won’t be completed before most ballots are counted.

But the accusation is just the start of a long list of Kramer misbehavior that should have alarmed voters years ago. While serving as Martinez city clerk from 1986 to 1996, Kramer won his first term as county assessor in 1994 by beating a dead man. His opponent, Daniel Hallissy, died of a heart attack before the election, but his name remained on the ballot.

Since then:

• The state Fair Political Practices Commission fined Kramer $4,000 because he failed to disclose ownership of rental properties in Martinez when he was city clerk.

• The FPPC fined Kramer $5,500 after finding he didn’t file nine reports disclosing late campaign contributions and did not properly disclose a loan on a semiannual campaign statement as required by law.

• Kramer demolished an asbestos-laden house he owned in Bay Point without notifying air board officials, resulting in a $5,000 fine.

• He retaliated against one of his employees, resulting in a jury verdict and subsequent settlement of legal fees that cost county taxpayers a combined $994,000.

• One of Kramer’s properties was under assessed by his own office, allowing him to avoid paying more than $21,000 in property taxes. After a reporter discovered it, Kramer called the woman who sold him the house. She said he wanted her to help him create a paper trail justifying the valuation.

• He used an arcane real estate transaction known as a gift deed that allowed him to avoid paying transfer taxes when acquiring millions of dollars of property in the county. Ethics laws limit gifts to public officials to a few hundred dollars a year.

• After news stories about those transactions, he amended years of state ethics forms because he had failed to disclose ownership of millions of dollars of property in the county and loans of hundreds of thousands of dollars to friends and associates.

• Kramer’s office overvalued vacant dirt lots of a Pittsburg developer with whom the assessor had been publicly feuding, costing the company well over $200,000 in additional taxes that year.

• Kramer’s office reassessed his son and daughter-in-law’s home, claiming incorrectly that they had converted their garage to living space. The reassessment came after Kramer had a falling out with them and they no longer permitted him to see his grandchildren. After the daughter-in-law complained, an appraiser inspected the house and the reassessment was rescinded.

• He filed a tort claim against the Contra Costa County Employees’ Retirement Association alleging that he should have been able to double-dip, to draw his county pension and his county salary at the same time. He never pursued the case.

• He filed a civil rights lawsuit claiming county supervisors discriminated against him by not granting him pay raises other department heads had received. A federal judge threw out the case, concluding in essence that the board can use discretion when it awards raises.

• The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors censured Kramer after an independent investigator found he likely made inappropriate sexual comments to two women who worked in his department.

How has Kramer, dubbed “The Bad Boy Assessor” in his own office, gotten away with such behavior all these years? Former Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson, later found guilty of felony perjury, killed an investigation into Kramer’s private land deals over the objections of two deputies supervising the probe, those deputies said.

County supervisors at first buried findings about Kramer’s inappropriate sexual comments to his subordinates. And Contra Costa judges have been indifferent to the importance of quickly conducting a trial on the Grand Jury accusation.

Kramer doesn’t deserve his current job. And he certainly doesn’t deserve election to another key post. To preserve the integrity of county government, voters should re-elect Federal Glover.

Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Rights In Louisiana – But We’ve Still Got Work To Do

Statement by National NOW President Toni Van Pelt

June 29, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Supreme Court’s decision today in June Medical Services v. Russo struck down a Louisiana law imposing targeted restrictions on abortion providers (TRAP laws) that the Court had previously found unconstitutional in Texas. TRAP laws are not designed to protect women’s health, but rather to expand the power of patriarchal church leaders and conservative Republicans and to dictate women’s most personal health decisions.

The court also declined to rule on third-party standing which means that abortion providers can continue to challenge law that restrict access on behalf of their patients which is a crucial win for abortion activists. The case was a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

As Justice Stephen Breyer noted in his majority opinion, this case was “almost word-for-word identical” to the law at issue in the Texas case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt, from 2016. In that case, the crucial fifth vote was cast by Justice Kennedy—but his replacement, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, voted to keep the restrictions on the books.

Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority in this case, but only because he agreed with Breyer that the issues had already been decided by the Court. He reiterated his opposition to the arguments made by the majority in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstadt. He doesn’t agree with Justice Breyer that the Texas and Louisiana laws “will continue to make it impossible for abortion providers to obtain conforming privileges for reasons that have nothing to do with the State’s asserted interests in promoting women’s health and safety.”

This means that with John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch on the Court, access to abortion care is still on the brink of repeal. NOW applauds today’s legal victory, but we have no illusions about the challenges women still face in defending their reproductive rights from activist judges and extremist politicians.

Today we celebrate, but tomorrow we march—and in November, we vote.

Justice for All

In this time of conflict and uncertainty Contra Costa NOW would like to express our support for the dismantling of institutional, cultural, and interpersonal racism that exists in our society.  We condemn the policies that allow our government agencies to target, discriminate, and enact violence against people of color and their supporters.  We mourn for the death of every person targeted by these shameful policies.  We encourage all of our members to renew their commitment to working toward a society which values peace, equality, and justice for all of its citizens.

NOW PAC Announces First Slate of 2020 Endorsements

April 23, 2020

 

WOMEN WILL TAKE THE GAVEL FROM MITCH MCCONNELL

NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN PAC LAUNCHES BIGGEST POLITICAL INVESTMENT IN HISTORY TO FLIP SENATE

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) has announced its largest slate of endorsements at this stage of the election cycle, in preparation for its biggest financial investment in the organization’s history.

NOW PAC released its initial slate of endorsements, announcing support for 136 feminist candidates in 30 states to flip the Senate and keep the House. It includes seven Senate candidates hoping to join the Senate and nine Senate incumbents, as well as 23 House candidates looking to unseat incumbents or win an open seat, plus 99 House incumbents.

The political arm of NOW — funded entirely by NOW members — will focus its efforts on funding and mobilizing its grassroots members for Senate candidates in states that can flip the Senate to a pro-woman majority.

“It doesn’t matter who is in the White House if we don’t take the gavel from Senator Mitch McConnell and give it to someone who supports women,” said NOW PAC Chairwoman Toni Van Pelt. “For too long, an anti-women majority in the Senate has attacked our reproductive rights, our economic security, our safety and our dignity in this country.”

NOW PAC also highlights its “rebound candidates,” who are candidates that ran in 2018 and lost, but are back in 2020. We’ve already seen early success of these candidates in their second time around, such as Marie Newman (IL-03) who toppled an anti-choice Democratic incumbent in the Illinois primary.

Women voters and NOW members have always been a critical volunteer base to talk to women voters about the feminist issues at stake in elections from the bottom of the ballot to the top. The 2020 election results will depend on the turnout of women of all demographics and backgrounds.

Additionally, 80 percent of the NOW PAC endorsed candidates who are challenging an incumbent or vying for an open seat are women candidates.

Van Pelt said that the organization will soon launch its largest-ever digital organizing program to recruit members to volunteer for key target races, with a plan to unveil an Adopt a Senate Campaign program in the summer. This program was planned prior to COVID-19, but it creates a natural response to current physical distancing.

“NOW members have been mobilizing for candidates for years — or in many cases, decades — knocking doors and volunteering in campaign offices,” Van Pelt said. “In this new reality, we are prepared to shift our efforts into all of the remote opportunities available to reach voters and make a huge impact in November.”

The global pandemic has shown just how much the world relies on women’s labor in the workforce as health care workers, domestic workers, educators and service workers. It also has shown how much unpaid labor women provide as primary parents and as caretakers of family members.

As a result, COVID-19 has laid the case for NOW’s priority legislation and electing feminists who will pass them – such as raising the minimum wage for all workers, removing the artificial timeline on the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay, paid sick leave, paid family leave, federal abortion protections and universal health care.

“We ask about these issues in our candidate interviews, so we know our endorsed slate will be a part of the new majority in Congress that will finally pass these priorities and build a safe, equal, and dignified United States for everyone in it,” Van Pelt said.

Senate Candidates to Flip the Senate
Teresa Tomlinson (Georgia)
Kimberly Graham (Iowa)
Sara Gideon (Maine)
Steve Bullock (Montana)
Abby Broyles (Oklahoma)
Jaime Harrison (South Carolina)

Open Seat
Rep. Ben Ray Luján (New Mexico)

Senate Incumbents
Senator Doug Jones (Alabama)
Senator Dick Durbin (Illinois)
Senator Gary Peters (Michigan)
Senator Tina Smith (Minnesota)
Senator Jeanne Shaheen (New Hampshire)
Senator Cory Booker (New Jersey)
Senator Jeff Merkley (Oregon)
Senator Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
Senator Mark Warner (Virginia)

House Challengers
Celeste Williams (AR-03)
Chris Bubser (CA-08)
Esmeralda Soria (CA-16)
Liam O’Mara (CA-42)
Diane Mitsch Bush (CO-03)*
Marie Newman (IL-03)*
Betsy Dirksen Londrigan (IL-13)*
Dani Brzozowski (IL-16)
Kara Eastman (NE-02)*
Nancy Goroff (NY-01)
Melanie D’Arrigo (NY-03)
Tedra Cobb (NY-21)*
Tracy Mitrano (NY-23)
Dana Balter (NY-24)*
Nate McMurray (NY-27)*
Vangie Williams (VA-01)*
Carolyn Long (WA-03)*

Open Seats
Christy Smith (CA-25)
Ammar Campa-Najjar (CA-50)*
Kathleen Williams (MT-AL)*
Kathy Manning (NC-06)
Jackie Gordon (NY-02)
Melissa Mark-Viverito (NY-15)

*Denotes a “rebound candidate”

House Incumbents
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ-02)
Rep. Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03)
Rep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07)
Rep. John Garamendi (CA-03)
Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05)
Rep. Doris Matsui (CA-06)
Rep. Jerry McNerny (CA-09)
Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-12)
Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13)
Rep. Jackie Speier (CA-14)
Rep. Anna Eshoo (CA-18)
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19)
Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26)
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27)
Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-28)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-32)
Rep. Raul Ruiz (CA-36)
Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37)
Rep. Linda Sanchez (CA-38)
Rep. Gil Cisneros (CA-39)
Rep Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40)
Rep. Maxine Waters (CA-43)
Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45)
Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47)
Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49)
Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52)
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC-AL)
Rep. Stephanie Murphy (FL-07)
Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09)
Rep. Val Demings (FL-10)
Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-21)
Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22)
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23)
Rep. Frederica Wilson (FL-24)
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26)
Rep. Donna Shalala (FL-27)
Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06)
Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01)
Rep. Bobby Rush (IL-01)
Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02)
Rep. Jesús “Chuy” Garcia (IL-04)
Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05)
Rep. Sean Casten (IL-06)
Rep. Danny Davis (IL-07)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Rep. Brad Schneider (IL-10)
Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11)
Rep. Lauren Underwood (IL-14)
Rep. Sharice Davids (KS-03)
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07)
Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08)
Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17)
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (MI-13)
Rep. Angie Craig (MN-02)
Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03)
Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04)
Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN-05)
Rep. David Price (NC-04)
Rep. Alma Adams (NC-12)
Rep. Andy Kim (NJ-03)
Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-07)
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)
Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12)
Rep. Deb Haaland (NM-01)
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small (NM-02)
Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01)
Rep. Susie Lee (NV-03)
Rep. Steven Horsford (NV-04)
Rep. Kathleen Rice (NY-04)
Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-07)
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08)
Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY-10)
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-12)
Rep. Eliot Engel (NY-16)
Rep. Antonio Delgado (NY-19)
Rep. Anthony Brindisi (NY-22)
Rep. Kendra Horn (OK-05)
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01)
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03)
Rep. Madeline Dean (PA-04)
Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (PA-05)
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06)
Rep. Susan Wild (PA-07)
Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01)
Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07)
Rep. Veronica Escobar (TX-16)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18)
Rep. Sylvia Garcia (TX-29)
Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02)
Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03)
Rep. Don McEachin (VA-04)
Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07)
Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08)
Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10)
Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11)
Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-04)

See all federal endorsements at nowpac.org/federal2020.

###

Since 1977, the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee (NOW PAC) has worked to elect more uncompromising feminists to the White House and Congress. NOW PAC’s aggressive grassroots organizing and early support for feminist candidates have been changing the faces of those elected to federal office

NOW PAC only raises money from NOW members, so our political work is 100% grassroots.

California NOW Voter Guide

Class of 2020 Federal and State Endorsements

Click the link below for a list of Candidate Endorsements

Class of 2020 Endorsements

Honoring African American Feminists Throughout History

Statement by NOW President Toni Van Pelt and Vice President Christian F. Nunes

02.01.2020
WASHINGTON, D.C.–Each February, the National Organization for Women commemorates Black History Month to honor the lives of African Americans who have shaped our nation and its culture. Our country and our communities would not be the same without the efforts of people of color, who work tirelessly in the face of oppression.African American women have been fierce advocates for gender equality for centuries, from suffragists Anna Julia Cooper and the founders of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to civil rights leaders Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth. In more recent years we’ve witnessed history as Nevada State Senator Pat Spearman kicked off the modern Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) movement and Virginia Delegates Jennifer D. Carroll Foy and Hala Ayala championed the ERA in Virginia, which just became the historic 38th state to ratify.

Thanks to these women and many others, progress has been made, but we must never underestimate the insidious racism that continues to plague our country in the form of discrimination in employment, health care, housing, the justice system and voting rights. That is why NOW is co-hosting our Racial Justice Summit with U.S. Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) on Feb.10th, which aims to create conversation about the intersection of gender, health, economics, violence and race.

Black History Month highlights the importance of intersectional feminism. Black lesbian civil rights activist and feminist Audre Lorde famously said, “I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are different from my own.” As firm believers of this approach to advocacy, NOW is committed to breaking down the barriers to gender and racial equality that have restricted women of color for centuries.

Contra Costa NOW Members at the Women’s March 2020

Contra Costa NOW members at the Women’s March 2020

Contra Costa NOW 2020 Board Members

Below is a list of our 2020 board members:

President: Jeanette Cole
Vice President: Erika Maslan
Vice President – Membership: Nancy Bocanegra
Vice President – Action, Karen Severud
Treasurer: Kathy DeFabio
State Board Rep: Jeanette Cole
Event Chairs: Phyllis Bratt & Lauren Babb
Board Adviser: Katia Senff

 

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